In this town there are many men of goodwill who are just and kind to strangers. The people of the villages are the same…and in this they display a hereditary instinct towards generosity. -Ibn Jubayr, visiting Harran in 1184 AD
In the Harran Valley lie the cities of Harran, the place where Abraham resided until departing on his storied travels southward, and Urfa, where local tradition holds he was born and lived much of his life. Across this flat plain, agriculture still dominates local industry as it has since the earliest days of wheat cultivation. To the east, the plateau of the Tektek Mountains rises above the surrounding countryside. This maze of rolling limestone hills holds a vast timelessness; and among its peaks are hidden the remains of ancient and mysterious temples, cultic sites, and trade routes.
The Harran Valley is full of farming villages; but the Tektek Mountains, where most of the region’s route lies, are very remote and dry. The expansive, rolling landscape can make navigation a challenge – hikers here should either come with a guide or be very familiar with multiple navigation techniques. Travelers should also plan their supplies carefully – if spending the nights in family homestays, food can be arranged; otherwise, though, most of the region lacks shops or places to refill on groceries. The lack of shade and vastness of the hills also mandate that hikers bring plenty of water with them.
For the time being, API advises against all travel south of the Urfa-Mardin highway, including the Harran region. In the city of Urfa, we advise travelers to avoid remote, isolated areas and exercise caution.